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Arunachal asks Centre to seek funds from World Bank

Last Updated: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 13:41

Itanagar: Despite the Centre`s reported reluctance, the Arunachal Pradesh government has asked it to continue seeking loans from the World Bank for projects in the border state in spite of objections from China.

Chief Minister Dorjee Khandu today said that during his recent visit to New Delhi, he came across press reports suggesting that the Centre has decided against pressing for
loans from World Bank for various projects in Arunachal and instead mobilise internal resources for them.

"On seeing the press reports, I immediately rushed to Union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on the evening of March 8 and told him it is okay for Central financial grants
for developmental projects in Arunachal but we should also seek loans from the World Bank for the state. Otherwise it will give a wrong message," Khandu told reporters here.

The controversy arose after External Affairs Minister SM Krishna reportedly said that if India can find internal resources to take up those projects in Arunachal, there is no compulsion to go to the World Bank or other funding agencies.

BJP spokesman Ravishankar Prasad had described Krishna`s statement as a shift in the country`s foreign policy.

The issue also had an echo in the Rajya Sabha yesterday when several BJP members including Prabhat Jha said such an attitude on the part of India would mean surrender of

The state has managed an interest-free loan of Rs 300 crore from the Centre to implement the 6th Pay Commission recommendations for state government employees.

"The state government has issued an order to pay the last installment of 15 months arrears today to keep its commitment," Khandu said.

The implementation will entail an additional burden of over Rs 1,400 crore in the current year, including arrear components.

Most of this amount was met from the upfront money the state raised from the developers of mega-hydro power projects and other resources.

But the shortfall of Rs 317 crores will be met from the interest-free loan from the Centre, repayable in 20 years.

Regarding revamping the PDS (Public Distribution System) in the state, the Chief Minister passed the buck to the Food Corporation of India (FCI) saying that in many places essential items are not reaching the people.

"It is now the responsibility of the FCI to reach the PDS items to people in remote areas in the state," he added.

Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar had earlier criticised the state government for agreeing to "high" rates of hill transport subsidies charged by the contractors.


First Published: Thursday, March 11, 2010 - 13:41
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